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Plate Up Fresh Recipes

Plate It Up, Kentucky Proud is a statewide project that began last growing season that makes delicious and nutritious recipes available to consumers while encouraging them to use fresh Kentucky farm products.

Janet Johnson, shown left, Allen County Extension agent and Plate It Up, Kentucky Proud project chair, hopes the recipe database and support videos available at the Kentucky Proud Web site help “develop appreciation for Kentucky’s family farm culture, meet consumer needs for increased fruit and vegetable consumption, and allow the Kentucky farms to be profitable,” she says.

Recipes from appetizers to desserts contain seasonal products you’re likely to find at a farmers’ market or roadside market stand.

The ongoing project starts with Extension family and consumer science agents submitting family-favorite recipes to the project for creative modification. University of Kentucky nutrition students are charged with making the recipes healthy, great tasting, and affordable. Each recipe process and dish is then critiqued and retested by Extension agents for final selection.

The broccoli and beef stir-fry recipe was simplified by changing a homemade sauce to a bottled stir-fry sauce. The first sauce used lots of cayenne pepper, says Johnson. Changing to red pepper flakes improved the sauce by making it less spicy and a more appetizing color.

You can find a variety of recipes for all seasons online at or from your local Cooperative Extension Service (you can find each county office contact information online at


1 lb lean beefsteak
1 Tbsp plus 1⁄2 cup stir-fry sauce
1 clove minced garlic
4 Tbsp canola oil, divided
1 medium red onion, cut into 1⁄2-inch dices
1 sweet red pepper, cut into 1⁄2-inch dices
1 medium yellow squash, cut into 1⁄4-inch slices
2 C fresh broccoli florets
1 C cauliflower florets
1⁄2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

Slice steak diagonally across the grain into thin strips. Combine 1 tablespoon stir-fry sauce and minced garlic in a bowl. Add the beef strips. Let stand 15 minutes. Heat 1 tablespoon canola oil in a large skillet or wok. Add beef and stir-fry for 1 minute. Remove beef from skillet.

Heat the remaining canola oil in the skillet or wok. Add vegetables. Stir-fry for 4 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender.

Return beef to skillet. Add the remaining 1⁄2 cup stir-fry sauce and red pepper flakes. Cook and stir 1 to 2 minutes longer, until heated through. Serve with cooked rice, if desired. Makes 8 one-cup servings.


9 oz fresh spinach
1 qt strawberries, hulled and sliced
1⁄2 C pecan pieces, toasted
1 small red onion, diced, about 1⁄2 cup
8 oz feta cheese, crumbled
Bottled raspberry vinaigrette salad dressing
6 oz croutons, if desired

Add first five ingredients in order in a salad bowl and toss gently. Drizzle with dressing, just enough to taste. Add croutons prior to serving. Serves 8.

Submitted by SHEILA HAMILTON, of Milton, a Shelby Energy Cooperative member, who says, “When friends are coming over for lunch or dinner, ‘Wow them’ with this elegant salad.” It’s beautiful and delicious.

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